The storm season is upon us! We have 6 frontal systems lining up like 747’s coming in for a landing! Plenty of rain & wind to go around for everyone.The wildlife tends to hunker down when they come ashore.Might not be able to get out for at least a weeks time? Tis the season of boredom!






The wind has been strong the last few days. Whenever it gets that way,I stay in. I saw a clearing coming on the satellite & thought I’d go out to the beach & wait for the light?
I waited about a hour & a half. The light came out yes,but briefly at best! These shots show how dramatically the light was changing. I shot all of these within 60 minutes of each other.
Always a mix bag when stormy weather moves in!


20130313-IMG_709720130313-IMG_711720130313-IMG_712020130313-IMG_712220130313-IMG_712820130313-IMG_7137It was yet another stormy,rainy day in Tofino! I think I’m going to need a shrink if this keeps up? Only one word describes this accurately………….”SUCKS”!
It doesn’t look very good for the future either! Oh joy!
This time of the year is the most trying! I’ll get out sooner or later & forget all about this!


About 20 minutes or so had gone by from the time I took the first shot & the second! You can see the remarkable difference in the lighting!
After I shot this,I turned around & came back in for the night. I noticed while I was putting away my gear,this sailing boat coming back into the harbour!
A wise choice after seeing that storm to the south!

West Coast ROCK & ROLL

A strong Low pressure system pushed through Tofino today. I started watching the Low pressure system approach us early this morning. When I get up in the morning,I go to the Weather Networks Satellite/Radar site.
I see whats coming our way. I noticed that the rear end of that Frontal system was 100 klicks to the SW. It was tracking fast! I knew that it would arrive here in a few hours. I also saw some clearing’s in behind! I was hopeful to get some storm shots today!
I loaded up my gear and headed out to Frank Island. I always like to go there. From Frank island looking to the West there is a large rock that has waves crashing up against it and the Lighthouse is directly in behind!
Basically the Lighthouse is point “A” and the rock with the waves crashing is point “B”. I line up A & B and that gives me my sweet spot……”C”.
Simple as that!
The light was constantly changing! The wind was blowing very strongly from the SW! It was difficult for me to stand because of it being so windy! I kept my back to the ocean/spray and had my camera inside my jacket to protect it from that salt spray. Salt water and electronics are not good bedfellows.
When I saw a opportunity, I pulled out my camera and shot like a sniper! My lens was getting spray on it from looking into the wind! I had to pick and choose carefully!
You can see in the first shot how the light was so much cooler than the ones below it. The sun came out briefly and warmed up the lights temp!
I love light from the side in a storm! It highlights the wave tops!
Obviously I didn’t go out in my boat today. It’s what I would call “poor canoeing weather”!

Light Flash……..Wave Crash

I have a little game I play when I’m shooting the Lighthouse with waves crashing in the foreground. I count to myself when the light flashes and than look for a wave to crash just as the light is about to flash again!
I obviously only do it when a storm is (or was) out and about. I need the power of the storm winds to generate large waves! The larger the better!
Can never be too large!
I prefocus,expose and compose the Lighthouse and just hold it there very steady.
I wait for a wave to hit just when the light is going to flash! I can see the reflection of the light in the glass coming around a split second before. It gives me a heads up!

As you can see,I did not get out in my boat today. The clouds were just hanging around all day!
I decided to go out to the beach and see what was going on? Theres always something happening out there!
I didn’t think too much of the light and was heading across from Frank Island to go home ,when I saw the sun starting to come through the clouds and the lighting started to look very interesting!
I quickly looked around for foreground material and found this wind Trike. (not sure what they are called?)
Saved my butt!

Storm Watching

Where this person is ,is a part of Frank Island that one can only get to by crossing a surge channel. Very few people go over there and the owners of the island do not allow just anybody over here.
Frank is a private island. People do go to the centre of Frank to watch the waves,sunsets!
I think this guy must be a friend or relation to the owners? When he came back,he went to the house.
He’s standing in a spot that I want to shoot one of my nude models in. I’ve been waiting for the right conditions to do that. Really tricky stuff!
It has to be at sunrise after a big storm. No clouds to the east,low tide and finding an available model! Not too much to ask for!!

March Wind Storm

The light looked semi good from the camera at Long Beach Lodge,so I grabbed my gear and headed out to the beach. It was low tide ,so I was able to get to Frank Island. However,by the time I got out there,the light had failed.
Some thicker cloud moved in and diffused the light even more.
The ocean was ripping and producing some large waves!

Tofino Drive By!

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It was too windy to go out in the boat and way too cloudy as well.
However,I was watching a large clearing coming and figured it would hit Tofino near sunset……….and it did!
I knew that the tide was going to be too high to get out to Frank Island,so I brought my chest waders with me.
Glad I did. I got some good wave sequences!
A major earthquake struck Japan later in the day (10pm our time) Including a large devastating Tsunami!
Tofino has been issued a Tsunami Advisory,but I do not think anybody will be able to notice anything different in the wave structure?

This Wind Surfer had trouble getting back up when he was blown down. I got only one pass,but a good one at that. I was standing in about 4 feet of surf when he went by!
I think he went in after this pass becasue I did not see him after I shot this?

Tofino Tsunami?

I brought my chest waders with me because I knew I wouldn’t be able to get out to Frank Island.
I put them on and walked over. The water was about 3 or 4 feet with these splashes hitting me from time to time. I realized that there was no reason for me to endanger my camera with salt water, so put it away in my water proof camera bag after this shot!
I shot this and than found out hours later that a major earthquake had struck Japan. (10pm our time) We are suppose to get a tsunami,but I do not think it will be noticed with all the normal wave activity!

Tofino Wind Storm

It blew today! A deep low pressure cell passed near us.It brought with it ,high winds and high seas!
I couldn’t get out to Frank Island until later in the day when the tide was further out! The storm surge was creating waves that traveled a great distance!
A friend almost got hurt today! I’m still upset at her that she didn’t see the danger! She was almost crushed by logs against the rocks!
The surf during a storm surge at high tide is one of the most dangerous situations a beach can have! Waves can reach far and fast catching people off guard! Many people are hurt each year from this kind of scenario and some are killed! Logs weighing tons can be like a battering ram ! They can crush someone against the rocks in seconds!
She ended up with a good soaker and me giving her hell for doing something like that to begin with!

Near sunset ,the light peeked through a bit to tease me,but it just didn’t go for me! I got a few today,but nothing to write home about.

Various Lighthouse/Storm Shots

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It was not only pouring today,but the wind was ripping as well!
I had to work out at the beach today and actually left without my camera because of the poor weather! I had second thoughts about that and decided to go back into my apartment and get my camera. I had remembered looking at the Satellite site and seen small clearings heading my way in a few hours?
Good thing I did,because the light “did” come in and these are the moments I live for!
“Being at the right place, at the right time,with the right equipment!” (that will be my epitaph)
I only had seconds however! The clearings were not only small,but the storm was moving fast! Which made the light in a constant state of flux!
I really didn’t think that I would get lucky,but sometimes when you just wait………Nature will unveil her beauty!

Side Light

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The wind was coming in on the same angle as the light,from the South West. It was strong enough to make me lose my balance several times.
Whenever I come onto a scene,I always sit down and watch for awhile to try to figure things out. All the info I need is out there,all I have to do is figure it out.
Today,I noticed the spot where most waves were breaking. I walked south on Frank Island to line the Lighthouse up with that spot.
I always do this. I have my subjects…….”A” and “B”. I simply line up A and B. The waves were the foreground subject and as always ,the Lighthouse is the background!
Trying to get a wave to crash when the flash in the Lighthouse was going off is always a hit and miss situation.

Crazy Frank

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When I walked out onto the beach,I spotted Frank flying over from Frank Island towards me. He continued on by me and went along the forest line to south Chesterman’s.
Later,he came back to perch at his nest! I couldn’t believe that he did that! It was so windy where I was near the ground that I could only imagine how much stronger it would of been up there? You can tell the wind direction by looking at his angle. They HAVE to point into the wind when they perch or they’ll be blown away!
He flew out in front of the Lighthouse to try for a hit(I think?). He came back empty handed. I couldn’t believe he tried that! Thats ballsy! If he had misjudged,he would of been killed for sure. The eaglet they had last year,died doing something like that.
It misjudged and fell into the ocean and drowned. Very unfortunate. If it was any of the other eagles on the inside,they could of swam to shore.
There is no way it could of done that here. The rocky headlands are too steep. It would be tossed against the headland and be crushed!

Wind Storm

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I strong North Wester blew in and was ripping up the waves. Lots of activity going on when the wind blows.
Everything feels so high in energy! Always very exciting to be around large waves.
I’m still on the look out for that one storm that hits much harder than normal! I hope that the wind storm will last at least two days? All of that wind energy is transferred into the water. Thats when the ocean starts to roar. You can hear that very distinctive roar miles inland!
Thats when I go to the Blow Hole!
One never goes there when they want……………Mother Nature needs to phone you and tell you that it’s all set for you!
In theory………in theory ,the best case scenario for me, is that the storm lasts longer than 24 hours(maybe 30-40 hours?) and than ,that night,the storm lifts and it clears for the morning light! That way I have good light for the Blow Hole. If you don’t have the light,than theres not much point is there? If you’ve never seen it going off,than yes,it’s worth it going down in all that rain,wind ,cloud to see this Monster going off!
I have been there hundreds of times and have many shots of all that kind of stuff. A waste really! It’s the colours that you want.
Because the Blow Hole faces to the west, the sunrise is no good! The mornings light is blocked by the forest. So that means you have to wait all day for sunset and pray that clouds do not move in?
I shoot all day when these very rare events occur! It’s absolutely the most amazing place to view a storm!
2 people have been killed there and I was hit once myself! I wasn’t injured,but I did lose my hat. I wasn’t looking around me on a constant basis and a rather large wave crashed 60 feet below me . It went up to 90 feet or so and came over top of the headland I was on! It hit me and I rolled. I tucked my camera inside my Jacket. I always leave my jacket open so as to keep my camera protected from all the salt spray(l look like Napoleon).
I had my rain gear on ,so didn’t get very wet. My face,head did get soaked. It was another exciting moment!
I lived to fight another day!

Various Frank Island Shots

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I have shot this exact angle thousands of times and yet,somehow they all seem different!
Frank was out flying about. They usually perch into the Lee of the island’s trees and wait it out. For some reason he flew from the nest tree over to the eastern end of Frank(they have a second perch tree there). He than turned around and flew directly into the wind! He was bucking a 70 klick wind gust here! They have tremendous power,but they cannot sustain it for very long. Osprey are excellent at flying a long time!
He flew in front of one of the houses on Frank island. I think he was trying to keep low to the ground so as to stay out of that strong wind current!


I almost always shoot the Lighthouse when I go out to Chestermans! How could I not?
The waves were coming in,but nothing too large. I’ve seen waves go straight over this rock!
The ocean roars for a few days when there is that much energy happening,
and to think it all happens because of the sun! The heating of the earths surface produces very large rising currents that in turn affect the waters surface. It produces large waves(swell) that spread out from the disturbance.